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01/25/2011 02:16 PM Posted by: Ricki Komiss Poster Avatar
The impact of legislative decisions on private schools.

Do Private Schools Have a Voice in State Government?

 

Whether you read the news in the newspaper, on your computer, iPad, or Smart Phone, I am sure you are abreast of the budgetary struggles occurring in our state government concerning education funding during this session.  As a non-public school, The Shlenker School is not affected by the whims of our state legislators.  But do we have a say in what they are proposing — especially if it affects our school?  The answer, fortunately, is yes. State government can most definitely have an effect on our funding, our policies, and even our accreditation, and we do have a say.  Currently, there are four topics being tossed around before the legislators in Austin.  At this time, we are not aware which, if any, of those topics will be introduced as a bill.  The four educational topics for independent schools being discussed are:

·        Before and After School Childcare Licensing Exemption

·        Educational Quality and Diversity

·        UIL Participation

·        Accreditation and Equal Treatment

It is extremely important for the Independent schools to stay in front of our legislators and for that reason, an organization called TANS (Texas Association of Non-Public Schools) was founded over thirty years ago. There are District Directors around the state of Texas who support the decisions that are appropriate for our schools and who write or visit our representatives in the Legislature to express our beliefs.  I have been serving on the TANS board for two years, and I am very glad there is an organization that looks out for our independent school interests.  In Houston, there are two District Directors, Dr. Jeff Williams, Head of School at Second Baptist School and me.  We are planning a trip to Austin to visit our legislators’ offices to discuss the bills that are introduced and to advise the legislators on our positions. 

 

As an independent school, we at Shlenker are dependent mostly on tuition and donations to develop our budget.   That is why other subsidies such as the Jewish Federation of Houston, Annual Giving, the Soirée, donations, and designated grants are so important to our programs.  Tuition drives our ability to provide the remarkable programs and classes that we offer our students every day.  Regardless of the actions taken by the state, Shlenker will continue to have small class sizes and outstanding specialists.  We will continue to bring the newest and most innovative curriculum and technology to our students as well.

 

Ricki Komiss 

Head of School

 

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